Mencius(redirected from Meng-tse)
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See A. F. Verwilghen, Mencius: The Man and His Ideas (1967); F. C. Wei, The Political Principles of Mencius (1977).
(also, Meng-tzu). Born circa 372 B.C.; died 289 B.C. Chinese philosopher; one of the most active followers of Confucius.
Mencius was born in the state of Tsou in the Lu kingdom (present-day Shantung Province). He studied with disciples of Confucius. Seeking to weaken the struggle between the broad strata of society and the hereditary aristocracy, Mencius, who supported the interests of the aristocracy, called for the restoration of the ching tien system of “well-fields” of equal size, which was based upon the idea of equal distribution of lands among the peasantry. He criticized the basic tenets of the fachia, or Legist, school.
Developing Confucius’ principle of the superiority of the nobleman (chiin tzu) over the commoner (hsiaojen), Mencius asserted the immutability of the division of people into the rulers and the ruled—a thesis which from that time on became one of the most important principles of Confucian theory. Mencius expounded his views in conversations with the rulers of kingdoms and with his disciples. He visited the kingdoms of Ch’i, T’eng, Sung, and Liang. In Ch’i, Mencius served as an adviser. He died in the Lu kingdom.
Mencius’ sayings and conversations were recorded by his disciples, including Kung-sun Ch’ou and Wan Chang. The main body of the work, called Mencius, dates from not later than the third century B.C.
SOURCES“Meng-tzu.” In Chutsu chich’eng (Collection of the Works of Ancient Thinkers), vol. 1. Peking, 1957.
Popov, P. S. Kitaiskii filosof Men-tszy. St. Petersburg, 1904. (Translated from Chinese.)
“Men-tszy.” In Drevnekitaiskaia filosofüa, vol. 1. Translated by L. I. Duman. Moscow, 1972.
Legge, J. “The Works of Mencius.” In The Chinese Classics, vol. 2. Oxford, 1895.
Wilhelm, R. Mong Dsi (Mong Ko). Jena, 1916.
The Book of Mencius. London, 1942.
REFERENCESBurov, V. G. , and M. L. Titarenko. “Filosofiia drevnego Kitaia.” In Drevnekitaiskaia filosofiia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1972.
Bykov, F. S. Zarozhdenie obshchestvenno-politicheskoi ifilosofskoi mysli ν Kitae. Moscow, 1966.
Yüan Cho-ying. La Philosophie morale et politique de Mencius. Paris, 1927.
L. S. PERELOMOV